RIAAN LE ROUX
I was born in Uitenhage, South Africa on 7 September 1958, one of four children. I always had a love for sports, especially martial arts but never had the opportunity to participate.
I matriculated from Brandwag High School in Uitenhage in 1976. In 1977 I was drafted to serve in the South African Defence Force for a period of two years where I held the rank of Corporal.
In 1979 I started my studies at Wits Technikon in Johannesburg in Environmental Health and obtained my qualification in 1981. (National Diploma in Environmental Health)
In 1981 I married my life partner Trudie whom gave me two wonderful sons.
My love for karate was born 1981 when I started karate for all the wrong reasons, but continued a lifetime of training for all the right reasons.
My karate career started with Shokukai Karate in Pretoria after being beaten up by two guys. I wanted revenge. My initial training was aimed at returning the favour. However as I progressed in karate, my focus changed completely. I did not want to get even, but rather live a life of serenity and inner calmness. I learned to respect others as I would like them to respect me.
I progressed to Orange belt before I had to move to the southern parts of Johannesburg, South Africa. Here I changed to Gojukai Karate and progressed to 1st Kyu. In 1986 a month before my black belt grading, I changed from employer (The young are restless and ambitious.) and moved to Uitenhage. This was when I came into contact with Shotokan Karate, as no Gojukai Karate Club was in close proximity – again I started from white belt and rapidly progressed to Shodan in 1992. Grading was never important to me as my philosophy was that, karate is about training and not grading.
In 1995 I graded to Nidan and in 1999 to Sandan
I became the Dojo Head of Shotokan Karate Dynamics Karate Club in 1995 and became the owner of the club in 2000. The club expanded during this period from one club to a consortium of three clubs.
As an instructor I assisted a number of students to become natioal champions in JKA as well as All Styles Karate.
Approximately seventy (70) of my students graded to Shodan, thirty (30) to Nidan and five (5) to Sandan.
My personal competitive karate started in 1983 when I was still practicing Gojukai Karate. From 1983 to 1985 I represented Southern Transvaal in both own style and all styles karate.
In 1996 I represented the Eastern Province as a referee in both JKA as well as All Styles at a National level. This continued to approximately 2000 when I decided to focus on JKA only and where I was registered as a Ring Controller.
In October 2014 I graded to Godan and was awarded Rokudan in 2015 at the WJKA World Championships.
Karate has been my life for so many years that it is impossible to imagine a life without it.